View of Downtown Pittsburgh from Mt.Washington, June 2016 (photo by Kate St.John)
Did you know there are 9 places to watch peregrine falcons in western Pennsylvania? Here’s where to find them in early June.
1. Downtown Pittsburgh (map of viewing location): Only one pair of peregrines owns all of downtown Pittsburgh where they’ve nested since 1991, originally at the Gulf Tower. This month we confirmed the Downtown parents are still Dori (Akron, OH, 2007) and Louie (Pitt, 2002). They have 4 nestlings on Third Avenue that are leaving the nest this week. Visit soon or you’ll miss them. Click here for more information.
2. Cathedral of Learning, University of Pittsburgh (map of viewing location):
Cathedral of Learning (photo by Kate St. John)
The Cathedral of Learning is the only western Pennsylvania peregrine nest with a webcam. The site has been home to peregrines since their first nesting attempt in 2001. This year Hope (Hopewell, VA, 2008) and Terzo (Cincinnati, OH, 2013) have one nestling who’s due to fledge this week. Visit Schenley Plaza to watch. Check the Events page for dates & times when I’ll be there, too.
3. Westinghouse Bridge (map of viewing location):
Westinghouse Bridge (photo by Kate St. John)
The Westinghouse Bridge carries Route 30 over Turtle Creek and has been home to peregrine falcons since at least 2010. The male at this site is George (Cobb Island, VA, 2006) but in late April the female, Storm, lost a territorial battle to an unbanded juvenile female. As of May 16 the new couple did not appear to be nesting but that may change. The best place to watch is on Elder Street underneath the E.Pittsburgh-McKeesport Bridge.
4. McKees Rocks Bridge (map of bridge location):
McKees Rocks Bridge (photo by Robert Strovers on Wikimedia Commons)
Peregrine falcons have nested at the McKees Rocks Bridge since at least 2008 but their nest is hard to find because the bridge is so big. During the nesting season watch for peregrines perched on the bridge or on power towers on either side of the river. Viewing locations are a challenge. Let us know if you find a good one.
5. Neville Island I-79 Bridge (map of viewing locations):
Neville Island I-79 Bridge (photo by Robert Stovers on Wikimedia Commons)
This bridge has been home to peregrines since at least 2012 when a fledgling was found swimming in the Ohio River below. Last year the pair was confirmed to be Beau (Pitt, 2010) and Magnum (Canton, OH, 2010) but may have changed. Their nest this year is over the center of the river facing the north shore. Watch them from these viewing locations.
6. Monaca-E.Rochester Bridge (map of viewing area):
Monaca East Rochester Bridge, 2012(photo by PGC WCO Steve Leiendecker)
Only one pair of peregrines owns the Beaver-Monaca-E.Rochester territory but they move their nest year to year. Some years it’s on the big black railroad bridge from Monaca to Beaver. This year it’s under the deck of the Monaca – East Rochester Bridge that carries Rt 51 over the Ohio River. They’re easy to see from these viewing locations.
7. Tarentum Bridge (map of viewing location):
Tarentum Bridge, Allegheny River, 2 June 2012 (photo by Kate St. John)
Peregrine falcons have nested at the Tarentum Bridge over the Allegheny River since at least 2010. Because the nests were in cubbyholes over open water a nest box was provided in early 2015. This spring there are new adults at the site but we don’t know their identities. However they’re easy to see at the Tarentum public boat launch. Are they nesting?
8. The Graff Bridge, Kittanning Route 422 (map of bridge):
Western approach to Route 422 at Kittanning, PA (photo by S.Lukens via Wikimedia Commons)
Southwestern Pennsylvania’s newest pair of peregrines has taken up residence at the Judge Graff Bridge that carries Route 422 over the Allegheny River near Kittanning. I’ve not been to the site yet so I can’t give you tips on the best viewing location. If you know where to see them, please leave a comment with the answer.
9. Erie, PA Waterfront (map of viewing location):
Peregrines have been in Erie, PA for at least five years but no one knew where they nested until a fledgling was found inside the Donjon Shipyard building in 2014. Nomad (Cleveland, 2008) and an unbanded female are nesting inside the big white building pictured above. You can see them perched nearby or flying in the vicinity from this viewing location.
Early June is a great time to watch peregrine falcons in western Pennsylvania. It’s time to get outdoors.
Downtown Pittsburgh, Cathedral of Learning, Westinghouse Bridge, Tarentum Bridge by Kate St. John
McKees Rocks Bridge, Neville Island I-79 Bridge by Robert Stovers via Wikimedia Commons
Monaca-E.Rochester Bridge by PGC WCO Steve Leiendecker
Judge Graff Bridge by S.Lukens via Wikimedia Commons
Donjon Shipbuilding linked from donjonshipbuilding.com)